House advances Burton’s bill protecting property owners

Written by emallers on February 22nd, 2019

 The House of Representatives voted in supported of State Rep. Woody Burton’s legislation protecting property owners from being held accountable for their tenants’ unpaid utility bills.  

According to Burton, smaller communities can pass ordinances that place the responsibility for tenants’ unpaid utilities on property owners. Burton said these local ordinances tie the hands of landlords who have limited options to prevent high bills.

“Aside from a lengthy and costly eviction process, property owners who are fully responsible for utility services have few options to prevent tenants from racking up excessive bills,” Burton said. “Unlike utility companies that are able to hold customers accountable by terminating services for nonpayment, landlords are stuck paying, even if they are not receiving money from their tenants.” 

Burton’s legislation would require municipally owned utility companies to bill renters directly for services for gas, electricity or water, unless the landlord and renter come to a separate agreement.

“Shifting the responsibility away from the tenant unfairly burdens the property owner,” Burton said. “While most renters pay on time and in full, some can rack up several months’ worth of unpaid bills that landlords could be held accountable for paying. This legislation would ensure that the person using the service, pays for the service.” 

House Bill 1347 can now be considered by the Senate. Visit to learn more.



Comments are closed.